Over fall break, Calvary students took a trip to visit the Missionary Training Center of Ethnos 360 in Roach, MO. While there students had the opportunity to sit in on classes, hear about Ethnos 360’s unique ministry approach, learn about translation and technology on the mission field as well as hear from missionaries who are soon going to deploy to the field. They also spent time with Lance and Caitlin Rensberger, Calvary grads who are currently going through Ethnos 360’s training and will be involved in aviation ministry.
A highlight of the trip was hearing from missionaries who had served in Thailand for 14 years and delivered a seminar called “Into the Buddhist Mind.” Students ate Thai food and learned about the culture and religion of Thailand as well as the difficulties in cross-cultural ministry.
We got there a day early and were able to explore the campus and sit in on some classes which was really fun! We sat in on a linguistics class which was interesting; they were exploring how to use a new linguistics computer program. The next day there were group classes geared for visitors as a whole in their chapel area. We learned about phonics, simple living, and their missionary technology. In our spare time we also did some hiking, canoeing, stargazing, and swimming. The last night we were there they had a dinner and presentation called “Into The Buddhist Mind.” They separated us into castes and based on that depended on how we were served and treated. They served a delicious Thai dinner and started the presentation while we ate, then we cleaned up the floor from dinner and set chairs out and finished listening to the presentation. Basically it was a look into the mind of a Buddhist and what they believe and why. It was very interesting and eye-opening. After that we headed home. All in all it was a very fun, interesting, and eye-opening trip. We met some amazing people and enjoyed learning about the Ethnos 360 training campus and what they do.”
Ethnos 360 is one of Calvary’s partners in the Synergy program. Calvary has a long history with them and several CU alumni are serving with them around the world. Martin and Gracia Burnham, of whom the Burnham Center for Global Engagement is named, were missionaries with Ethnos 360 in the Philippines.
Early last year, Calvary signed an articulation agreement with Greek Bible College in Athens. This semester, Calvary sophomore Elise Godsey is taking advantage of the program and studying abroad in Greece. Here’s an update from her!
Hello Calvary family! For those of you who don’t know me or know what I’m doing, my name is Elise Godsey and I’m a sophomore at Calvary, majoring in Intercultural Studies and TESOL. However, I’m not exactly a student at Calvary right now. I’m a student at the Greek Bible College in Athens, Greece! I am studying abroad this semester, thanks to the wonderful opportunity that Calvary provides where you get to come to this college and take some of your basic Bible classes for Calvary credit. So far I am the first CU student to do this, but I’m sure I won’t be the last!
I am actually on the island of Patmos while writing this update. That alone should tell you how awesome this program is! To clarify, I am doing what is it is called the International Student Program (ISP) here at the Greek Bible College (GRBC) and as part of our classes this semester we are taking 4 different study trips! So what class do you think this trip to Patmos is for? You guessed it…our writings of Apostle John class. It has been so neat to read the book of Revelation on the island where it was originally written. We also went on a trip to the city of Nicopolis last month, where we got to see some ancient ruins and learn more about the Roman Empire. The Apostle Paul spent time in Nicopolis, as he mentions in the book of Titus. We will go on two more study trips this semester!
The ISP is 9 students this semester, which is a nice size to travel and to get to know each other well and interact in class. Our classes are all in English. Then there is the Greek program here as well, which is 3 years long. There are about 20 students in that right now, so I’d say there’s about 30 students total enrolled here this semester. There are only 11 of us living on campus in the dorms right now. Last year there were more on campus, about 20 I’ve been told, so it fluctuates year to year.
There are 6 classes being offered here this semester for the ISP and I am taking 4 of them, because those are the ones that I need for CU. They will count at Calvary as my Bible Study Hermeneutics class, my Old Testament Survey class, my John class, and also one elective (New Testament Greek). There is also one that would be New Testament Survey, but I had already taken that class before coming here. I am still learning a lot by sitting in on it though! The office staff here have been very flexible and helpful as we work to make my time here compatible with my CU course requirements. Also, it is not super pricey to come study here. In fact, it is cheap! When you factor in the cost of airfare, a semester here ends up being about the same cost as a semester at Calvary. This is a blessing. Also, the 6th class is Engaging Orthodox Theology, which has been very eye opening as well, especially since we have gotten to visit some Orthodox churches here. Please pray for the vast majority of Greece, who think that this is true Christianity! It is sad to see people who do not know the joy of a loving relationship with Jesus Christ that is based on faith and not works. But I have also learned that there are things we can learn from Orthodoxy as well. It is important to keep an open mind and learn all we can, holding everything up to the light of the Bible.
The classes here are wonderful. The small class size makes us all feel very comfortable with having discussions in class, and the professors are full of knowledge and a desire to see us grow. I have gained so much insight into biblical principles from studying here. Being in such an ancient country really makes it feel like the Bible comes alive! It is so awesome to read the Bible and see Athens or Patmos mentioned and now be able to say “Oh, I’ve been there!” Hopefully I can visit other biblical places such as Corinth and maybe even Thessaloniki before I leave. It might be hard though, because there is so much to do right here in Athens, between school, ministry, and exploring. That is why I am thankful for the built-in study trips, to give us time to visit some awesome places.
Probably the biggest blessing for me since coming here has been the opportunity to learn from and serve alongside multiple ministries. God is doing some big things in this city. People from literally all over the world (but especially the Middle East) are being driven here due to war and persecution and corruption, seeking a better life. Athens has become a sea of multiple cultures, and it has been so encouraging to me to see how the local Greek churches have been rising to this challenge and serving those that God has brought to their city. Then the new believers who are springing up all around have started ministering to those that come from their own countries, and some of them even want to try to go back to their home countries to tell their friends about Jesus. It is amazing! I have also met plenty of missionaries who come from overseas and are serving here too, which is super awesome since that is what I want to do once I graduate! I do not know where I will go as a missionary, but I am eager to wait on the Lord and learn all I can in the meantime. He very well could end up leading me right back here to Athens, which I think would be spectacular!
Just like Calvary, the Greek Bible College has Christian ministry and church attendance requirements, so we were given lists of different churches to visit in the area. The first couple Sundays we visited churches all together as an ISP group. Also, during our second week here we met with the Christian ministry coordinator to talk about different ministry options for us each to do. There is a huge variety of different things to get plugged into, and I want to do as many as I can! Since being here I have gotten to participate in a ministry to feeding the homeless of downtown Athens, help out at an after-school ministry to Roma (gypsy) children, and I am looking to get connected to serve with a refugee safe center downtown. I have also found a wonderful church to attend, and even though I have only gone there twice, I have already gotten to participate in an outreach in their local community where we set up a table in the market and played board games with local people. It has been awesome!
I cannot say enough about how wonderful my time here has been already. I have quickly grown so close to my fellow students here and I appreciate their fellowship immensely. We hang out on campus a lot, and we also go out and about to do things sometimes too. We have chapel for a half hour every day except Wednesday, and that is also a great bonding time. Everyone here speaks at least some English, and most of them are very good at it, so it is not a struggle at alI to not know Greek. I am trying to learn a bit though, and I appreciate all the Greek students teaching me things! I also deeply appreciate Greek food. Man. How am I ever going to part from it? If you chose to come here just for the coffee, gyros, and gelato alone, it will be worth it. And there is so much more, it’s all just a short walk down the street from the school. Not to mention the delicious food that is made and served to us here in our cafeteria every day! Our cook is very talented, and we are all so blessed by the homemade Greek dishes she makes for us.
Praise God that He has kept me strong and in good health, and that He is granting me this time to learn about Him at this beautiful college and serve Him in this wonderful country! I pray you all are having a great Fall 2019! Always be open to new things that the Lord may lead you to do!
CLICK HERE If you are interested in participating in ISP or studying abroad.
Serving orphans and “street kids” growing up in poverty
Calvary University’s Intercultural Studies, Education, and TESOL studies programs are teaming up to provide a conversational English program at Cuatro Christian Academy in the Philippines in the summer of 2020!
Cuatro is part of Kids International Ministry (KIM), a dynamic, Gospel-centered ministry that has specialized in serving orphans and “street kids” growing up in the poverty stricken areas around Manila. Orphans, street-kids, and the children of Philippine believers study together in this unique environment nurtured by a committed Christian community.
Calvary faculty and staff recently visited KIM, stayed in their guest housing, and had the joy of interacting with Cuatro students at KIM’s orphan home. We are EXCITED to take KIM up on this opportunity to serve.
We will be working primarily with students in the upper grades. These students are taught in a dual-language environment, but need to have their conversation and pronunciation skills sharpened. Your involvement could be a step in helping these students have opportunities outside of high school that can lift them out of poverty. You will also have plenty of opportunity to interact with the children at the orphanage itself, as our group will provide devotionals and activities for these children as part of our service.
Our TESOL studies program at Calvary will be working with Cuatro to design the curriculum. If you are willing to be trained in how to effectively lead a conversation group, and to raise the necessary support, we would love to have you apply! Space will be limited to 12 total, with priority given to Education, TESOL studies and Intercultural Studies students.
Calvary University’s Intercultural Studies, Education, and TESOL studies programs are teaming up to provide a conversational English program at Cuatro Christian Academy in the Philippines in the summer of 2020!
Click for Info about all the trips Calvary is offering this summer.
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Almost a year ago, Calvary entered into a partnership with Greek Bible College in Athens to allow our students the opportunity to spend up to year studying abroad in Greece. This partnership came on the heels of recent opportunities that Calvary has had to take students on tours of the biblical sites of Greece and walk in the footsteps of the Apostle Paul. For the Fall semester of 2019, Elise Godsey (Intercultural Studies/ELL major) will be stepping out to take advantage of this opportunity and spending a semester in Greece, these are her thoughts...
“My name is Elise Godsey and I am a sophomore here at Calvary University majoring in Intercultural Studies and English Language Learner. I just started attending Calvary in January, for the Spring 2019 semester, and I already am beyond blessed by this college! I learned about Calvary at the beginning of Fall 2018, while I was attending my community college, and I was encouraged by Calvary staff to go ahead and apply to start attending right in January instead of waiting until the next year, and I am very glad I did because I have already had so many wonderful opportunities and experiences here.
Elise is second from the left.
While I was exploring the Calvary website last Fall to learn more about it I also learned about the opportunity to study abroad at the Greek Bible College in Athens, Greece. This really caught my attention and I instantly knew that I would love to have that opportunity. When I came to visit the school at the end of September, I was told that this study abroad opportunity was brand new and no one had done it yet, and this just made me all the more excited to pioneer this new program at Calvary!
I will be attending the Greek Bible College for the Fall 2019 semester, and I will be taking 3 classes that will directly transfer into the biblical studies part of my planner. The fourth class I take will be New Testament Greek, and that will count as an elective. It is so wonderful that I am getting to complete these Bible class requirements in a land of the Bible!
This chance to go attend college in Greece is one of the many reasons that I chose to attend Calvary, and I am so thankful that I will get to do it and for all the help I am receiving as I get ready! I am beyond excited to see what the Lord has planned for me to learn as I study there and for the ministry opportunities I may get as well! I appreciate your prayers as I embark on this new adventure in my life!” – Elise Godsey
My name is Josiah Stout, and I am currently in my second semester at Calvary pursuing an interdisciplinary degree in Intercultural/ELL studies. Going to Wayumi over spring break was a fantastic opportunity to get hands on experience in cross-cultural ministry, specifically tribal church planting. What a great time it was: traveling, spending time connecting with friends and missionaries, learning about the nuts and bolts of work with Ethnos 360, hiking in the woods and staying up all night—take me back! Truly, I believe God spoke to each of us individually on this trip in ways that will make a lasting impact.
Since a significant amount of time was spent traveling to and from Jersey Shore, PA, our group had fun entertaining ourselves through stories, active games, snacks, music and exercise (yes, all on the bus). On the trip back however, sleep became the more desirable option. Certainly, a lot of the fun that came with the trip was involved in this small, communal, 16 hour bus ride. Although experiences by themselves may be impactful, the friendships make them all the more worthwhile and meaningful.
The Wayumi campus was extremely beautiful and had a number of trails that zigzagged behind the buildings and up into the tall forests. Our group enjoyed walks alongside a wide creek that flowed along the boarder of the property. Some smaller streams ran off the trails and waterfalled their way down into the larger creek. I’m sure you can get a picture of how nice it was to explore and relish the beauty of the nature surrounding us. A great deal of our free time was spent hiking, including an adventurous 2:30-3:30a.m. hike our last night there. Still, had our group come for the scenery alone we would not have fully enjoyed our time there.
Breakfast ranged from 7-7:45 each morning, with the first class beginning at 8. Greg and Steve Sanford were the two instructors for the entire week. Both brothers were tribal missionaries in different parts of Venezuela, Greg to the Yanomamo tribe and Steve to the Joti tribe. Their sessions consisted on how to handle each step in the process of planting a thriving tribal church. This includes pre-field training, arrival on the field, tribal allocation, language and culture dedication, pre-teaching, evangelism, the developing church, and the continuing church. This is an estimated 25-year process if all goes smoothly. Before the gospel can be shared, missionaries must learn the language AND culture of the tribe. This is a very time-consuming process, consisting of 8-9-hour days for 2-5 total years. Long as it may seem, Steve and Greg ensured that there are no regrets!
Our group had the chance to enter a demo-village and practice language learning acquisition with a Yanomamo lady (Greg’s wife). The setup was very real and initially startling! Sitting next to a woman communicating with me in a different language left my mind racing for words that did not exist in my vocabulary (not to mention her appearance was strikingly different). We had each been given a clipboard with a list of English words along with the Yanomamo phrases for “hello” and “what is it?”. Our objective was to write the Yanomamo translation for the English words. We did this activity twice, first focusing on getting the sounds written down and secondly focusing on using the proper phonetic alphabet in our translation. It was so fascinating…and a lot to learn!
Learning how differences in culture affect communication and Bible translation was a big emphasis. Words and concepts such as grace, love, believe, king, law, Pharisee…etc. do not exist in many tribes. Therefore, the translators are challenged: trying to explain these terms without adding or taking away from the original meaning. For our demo activity, we had the challenge of translating Matthew 2:1-11 and Romans 6:1-5 for a tribe of Grade School English speakers who think like tribal people. There was a long list of words which we were forbidden to use in our translation. As Jordan Teeter and I wrestled our way through the Matthew translation, we soon realized how simple words such as “king” and “ruler” were hard to translate distinctively. The more we translated, the more love I felt for the Word of God. The privilege to have His Word in my native tongue! To think, roughly 1,636± distinct ethnic groups are still waiting for this privilege.
From mornings full of classes to afternoons of activities and free time, there was so much information for my mind to cultivate. Along with this cultivation came fun, new experiences such as butchering a pig and cooking it in the ground (the style of a Filipino Mumu). I would not have expected hot rocks to be able to thoroughly cook multiple layers of meat and potatoes over a period of 4 hours. Yet sure enough, we ate well that night! On top of this, I was always impacted by the stories pertaining to both the Yanomamo and Joti tribe. Unique cultural facts and stories are always intriguing, but to hear of how God transformed both tribes was powerful. The reception of the Joti tribe to the gospel was particularly remarkable. The entire tribe turned to follow Christ! Since the Joti only knew how to read out loud, the entire village was engrossed in a loud buzz of scripture reading. Their love for God’s Word is an example for me.
Having gone to Wayumi, I can better picture myself working in a tribal setting. Indeed, I quickly realized the work is not as glamorous as the stories we may often hear. The work is great and hard! Laborious and discouraging seem to be fitting adjectives. But what is my life? Am I really in control of my future? Am I willing to go and do what the Lord directs me to? Seeing and knowing the joy that unbelievers attain when they hear and accept Christ for the first time is a joy worth celebrating! How rewarding it would be to fulfill God’s command in this much needed and timely way!
I am so thankful to have had this time to step back and examine what God is doing on earth and how I can be a part of his work. It is truly something we all must take the time to do. Wayumi is certainly for anyone. It has helped me know how to go, support, pray, and see God’s passion for his worldwide church.